Biography of Japanese Painter

Kano Tanyu (1602 - 1674)

Portrait of Kano Tanyu

One of the foremost painter of the Kano school.

Tanyu was born in Kyoto as the eldest son of Kano Takanobu, grandson of Kano Eitoku.
Tanyu's mother was a daughter of Sassa Narimasa, famous daimyo (feudal lord) in the Sengoku period.
In 1612, Tanyu had an audience with Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first Shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate.
In 1617, Tanyu was appointed as an official painter for the Sugunate.
He moved to Edo (present Tokyo) from Kyoto in 1621, and, he lived in the residence near the Kajibashi Gate of Edo Castle.

As an official painter, Tanyu participated in producing paintings for Edo Castle, Nijo Castle, Nagoya Castle and others.
He also drew paintings on room partitions of the Daitoku-Ji Temple, Myoshin-Ji Temple and others.

In 1623, he transfered the position of the head of the Kano school to Yasunobu, Tanyu's youngest brother.
Then, Tanyu established his own school.
The school was called the Kajibashi-Kano school because his residence was located near the Kajibashi Gate of Edo Castle.
Tanyu's son Morimasa succeeded to the family.

However, no outstanding men appeared from subsequent painters belonged to this school because they only adhered to keep old painting rules.
Tanyu deceased in 1674 at the age of 73.

  • Fusuma-e
  • Shunkei-zu, View in the Spring 1672
  • Setsu Bai Chiku Yukin-zu Fusuma, Ume & Bamboo Trees and Playing Birds in the Snwo 1634
  • Ichi no Tani Kassen, Kajiwara Kagesue and Kagetoki (Father& Son) in the Ichinotani Battle
  • Dragon in the Suiboku
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